Ancient Monuments

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Dovecote at Home Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Newton, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.1239 / 52°7'26"N

Longitude: 0.0955 / 0°5'43"E

OS Eastings: 543554.821183

OS Northings: 249358.1152

OS Grid: TL435493

Mapcode National: GBR L87.T42

Mapcode Global: VHHKG.LWW6

Entry Name: Dovecote at Home Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019231

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22770

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Newton

Built-Up Area: Newton

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Newton St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a dovecote situated at Home Farm, 200m north of St
Margaret's Church. The dovecote, which is a Listed Building Grade II, dates
from the 18th century and is part of a complex of farmbuildings, with which it
is partly bonded. The remainder of the complex is not included in the

The dovecote, which is situated on the north side of a sunken yard, is
circular in plan and measures about 7m in diameter. The lower parts of the
walls, to a height of about 1m, are constructed of brick; these parts are
largely concealed on the external east, north and west sides of the building
where the ground level is higher. This base supports the main body of the
walls which is constructed of clunch (soft chalk blocks), plastered
externally. The walls are additionally supported by an iron tie rod. The
roof of the building, which is conical in shape, is tiled; at the apex is a
gabled lantern with flight holes and an alighting ledge, providing access for
birds to a flight platform and chute, constructed of wood, which are visible

The dovecote is entered from the yard on the south by a modern wooden door.
On the interior the lower, brick-built part of the walls, which is arcaded,
is believed to have formerly supported a raised wooden floor. Above the
arcading the walls are lined with nest boxes constructed of clay and daub;
those on the south and west are believed to be original, while those on the
east represent later replacements. The nest boxes on the north part of the
wall no longer survive, and the wall is now plastered.

The modern wooden door, internal water troughs and feeding equipment are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them and/or the
structures to which they are attached is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dovecotes are specialised structures designed for the breeding and keeping of
doves as a source of food and as a symbol of high social status. Most
surviving examples were built in the period between the 14th and the 17th
centuries, although both earlier and later examples are documented. They were
generally freestanding structures, square or circular in plan and normally of
brick or stone, with nesting boxes built into the internal wall. They were
frequently sited at manor houses or monasteries. Whilst a relatively common
monument class (1500 examples are estimated to survive out of an original
population of c.25,000), most will be considered to be of national interest,
although the majority will be listed rather than scheduled. They are also
generally regarded as an important component of local distinctiveness and

The dovecote at Home Farm is of an unusual type, and is rare in surviving as a
complete standing structure in very good condition. Most internal and external
features, including nest boxes, roof lantern and chute, have been preserved
largely intact. As an important component of an 18th century farm complex it
preserves valuable evidence for the way in which dovecotes functioned both
economically and symbolically in agricultural establishments of this period.

Source: Historic England

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